Be Parents. Not teachers

For many of us, it is now Easter holidays. But let’s be honest, who here actually knows what day it is? It’s Suntuemonthurwedsatfriday.

I have had many friends contact me and ask my professional advice as a teacher. They are at their wit’s end after one week. So, here is my best advice and please remember, I am one person, this is MY opinion and if you disagree, just forget it and move on. If there is one thing I have learnt in the last few weeks, there is a LOOOOOT of Karen’s stuck at home without people to yell at. DON’T TAKE IT OUT ON ME KAREN!

Firstly, parents, remember that is exactly what you are. PARENTS. You are not going to be expected to find resources to educate your child. There are an overwhelming amount of websites and companies advertising free programs and resources. They are praying on your exhaustion and over-saturated brains to draw you in. When school goes back, if your child isn’t at school, their teacher will send you home a program of work. So don’t spend a tonne of money printing out resources and activities- go buy yourself a latte and chill out instead.

When school does go back, you also need to remember school hours. Most schools days go for 6 hours (although, for teachers there are about 1254 hours between 9am and 3pm every day). Don’t push yourself and your tiny humans to keep working at all hours. Which brings up the point of pushing (see earlier blog about this, I must have a deep seated aggression issue, because it’s not the first time I have brought it up ). Your children will push back against you telling them to do work. But don’t assume that this is what they are like in the classroom (Well. Some of them. Little Johnny, let’s not tell mum where you told me to shove it last week, hey?) As a parent, you are the safe person in your child’s life and your home is their safe place. Because of the trust you have built with your babies, to forgive and love them unconditionally; they may say things to you that they would not say to their teachers. By all means, have a word to them about how they are speaking inappropriately. But don’t come down too hard on them, their brains are as messy as my 6 year old’s toy room right now. And don’t even get me started on your brain- especially if you are working from home too. You literally cannot be an employee, parent AND teacher. So, let the teacher part slip for a minute. Tell them to have a break. Go back to it later. It is OUR job as teachers to work out how we are going to work the curriculum to balance the time lost from the classroom. it’s your job to give them a hug and encourage them with love.

Photo by Kristin De Soto on Pexels.com

Speaking of ‘our’ job. Please remember that your child’s teacher is also a person as well. In this new world we are trying to move into, we are already overloaded. We have had to go through EVERY resource that we had ready for the term and make it digital friendly. But isn’t that just uploading it, you ask? It takes 2 minutes. PFFFFT. And Maggi noodles only take 2 minutes to cook as well. Over the last 20 years, we as teachers have been taught about making classrooms hands on, rather than theoretical. So every resource we have made has included group activities, cutting and pasting stations, class discussions and such. In one week, we had to change everything to make it a task your individual child can do in their home by themselves. We then set up digital classrooms, email groups with students, parents and each other. Your child will be either emailed this work, or contact your school and packages will be printed for you. There will be processes in place for us to gather evidence that your child is engaging in the work from home. This used to be just a 1 minute walk around the room. However, in a digital classroom, we will open every child’s digital folder, check what they have done, contact with any issues, reply to any questions and mark off their completion of tasks. In short, a simple one minute process will now become several hours of work.

You probably haven’t seen any of this information yet. And there is a reason for that. If we uploaded all the work before school holidays ended, an already blurred line will become invisible. You need to have the holidays, for both yours and your child’s mental well being. Please. There is a lot of anxiety around and it is being picked up unknowingly by the children. They cannot and will not get anywhere if their emotional needs have not been met.

But when school goes back, please remember, your child’s teacher is also a human. They are possibly working from home too, with their own clingy little offspring. They also don’t 100 percent know what they are doing and are trying to figure it all out. They have working hours as well. If you wouldn’t expect your doctor to email you back immediately at 10pm on a Saturday night, don’t expect the teacher to.

So, let’s sum it up.

  • As a parent, you are their safety and support. Be that before anything else.
  • School is only a few hours a day- not all day.
  • Work will be given to you. Don’t stress about having to find and provide.
  • Do your best. And know your teachers are human. We are not expecting miracles.
  • Enjoy your holidays!!!!

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